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Animal rights group gathers 25,000 signatures against 'chicken prison' planned for Great Ponton

An animal rights group has gathered 25,000 signatures for its petition against plans for an intensive chicken farm at Great Ponton.

The application, submitted to South Kesteven District Council, is for a six-shed farm, which would house 270,000 birds on the site which lies 1.5km from the village centre.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) started the petition against what it calls a 'chicken prison'. It says two million baby birds will be slaughtered every year. The plans have already caused outrage among locals.

Residents are joined by Keith Leader, headteacher at Great Ponton Primary School and head boy Ethan Clarkson and head girl Emily Crisp. (12696070)
Residents are joined by Keith Leader, headteacher at Great Ponton Primary School and head boy Ethan Clarkson and head girl Emily Crisp. (12696070)

PETA has sent the petition with over 25,000 signatures from local residents and other concerned members of the public urging SKDC to reject the plan, as it says the farm would cause the birds immense suffering. The group says as many as 45,000 chickens at a time would be crammed into each of the six proposed buildings, and would not be able to do anything that comes naturally to them such as roaming freely, roosting in trees, and interacting with their parents.

In the petition, PETA points out that, in addition to causing cruelty to animals on a massive scale, an expansion of this kind would likely have many negative effects on the local area, including diminishing the character of the rural landscape and spoiling natural vistas. Ammonia from the chickens' waste would also have a negative impact on air quality, human health, the environment and wildlife.

PETA director Elisa Allen said: "Thousands of compassionate people have spoken and South Kesteven District Council should heed their concerns for animal welfare, the environment, and the health of the community. PETA is calling for this plan to be scrapped, sparing thousands of birds a lifetime of suffering and an agonising death."

PETA, whose motto is, in part, 'animals are not ours to eat', says that chickens are curious, active animals who, in nature, spend their time foraging, exploring, and taking dust baths. Chickens naturally live for up to 11 years, but on this farm, they'd be sent to the abattoir when they're 33 to 37 days old. There, they would face a throat-cutting machine before being plunged into scalding-hot water.

See the planning application application here

For more details go to PETA.org.uk.


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